winterizing arborvitae in balcony pots - Knowledgebase Question

Boston, Ma
Question by jackieroyer
October 6, 2009
I have 2 emerald green arborvitae living in large pots on my condo balcony, which faces west(Home Depot plant code: THDA 1861). Advise how I can winterize them on the balcony and if I should water during the winter. I had 2 similar mini trees last winter that didn't survive. I didn't prep them for the winter, however they were dead by spring. Please help.


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Answer from NGA
October 6, 2009

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Arborvitae are tolerant of cold weather but wind can dessicate them so you might consider spraying them with Wilt-Pruf or some other anti-dessicant. Aside from wind burn, the major problem with plants in containers over the winter months is that the roots can freeze solid which can kill the plants. You may be able to insulate the pots by wrapping them with insulating material or by lining a cardboard box with sheets of styrofoam and setting the pot inside, setting more insulation on top of the pot. You should water your plants during the winter. Overly dry soil can kill the plant. If the soil is protected from freeze it will accept water which will keep the roots of your plant hydrated. Hope you have better luck with your balcony plants this winter!

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